134 episodes

Why do musicians create what they do? Why do they create in that particular way? Mark Linsenmayer (aka songwriter Mark Lint, and host of The Partially Examined Life) talks to songwriters and composers about specific recordings, which are played in full. We cover lyric meanings, writing and recording techniques, arrangements, band dynamics, the stories behind the songs, and even music theory.

Nakedly Examined Music Podcast Mark Linsenmayer

    • Music Interviews

Why do musicians create what they do? Why do they create in that particular way? Mark Linsenmayer (aka songwriter Mark Lint, and host of The Partially Examined Life) talks to songwriters and composers about specific recordings, which are played in full. We cover lyric meanings, writing and recording techniques, arrangements, band dynamics, the stories behind the songs, and even music theory.

    NEM#133: Jon Hassell (and Rick Cox): Fourth World Improvisation

    NEM#133: Jon Hassell (and Rick Cox): Fourth World Improvisation

    Jon started playing trumpet with composers like Terry Riley and La Monte Young in the late 60s, has since guested with Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Ani DiFranco, Ry Cooder, et al, and has released 18 solo albums since 1977.







    We discuss "Unknown Wish" from Seeing Through Sound: Pentimento Volume 2 (2020), "Manga Scene" from Listening to Pictures: Pentimento Volume 1 (2018), "Toucan Ocean" from Vernal Equinox (1977), and listen to the title track from Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (2009). Intro: "Chemistry" by Jon Hassell/Brian Eno from Fourth World Music I: Possible Musics (1980). For more see jonhassell.com.











    Rick Cox











    To provide more insight into these recordings, Jon's bandmate Rick Cox chimes in. While he's ostensibly the guitarist, all the members also use keyboards, electronics, and processing, and the Pentimento recordings were culled from numerous live jams patched together, overlaid, and re-stitched, so it was very hard for either Jon or Rick to say exactly who was making what sound when. To hear more of my conversation with Rick, including a presentation of a song he was the chief architect on, "Fearless," from Jon's new album, go to patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic and sign up to support the show.







    Watch a whole live show from 2013. See the band in 2009 playing "Last Night the Moon Came" live. Here's a live tune by Jon and Rick with John Von Seggern. Listen to an album Jon did with Harold Budd and Gavin Bryars. See his band live in 1989. Hear all of "Chemistry." Jon and Brian Eno also played some live.







    Hear Jon and Ani DiFranco together. Hear Jon's playing on Peter Gabriel's "Passion."  Here's Jon with David Sylvian. Listen to Terry Riley's "In C" that Jon played on. Hear one of Rick Cox's solo pieces. Watch Rick demonstrate interesting guitar sounds. Here's one of many Thomas Newman songs that Rick played on.







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    • 1 hr 9 min
    NEM#132: Chris Frantz Looks Back on Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club

    NEM#132: Chris Frantz Looks Back on Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club

    On the publication of his memoir, Remain in Love, Chris and your host Mark Linsenmayer discuss “Psycho Killer” and “Warning Signs” by Talking Heads from Talking Heads ’77 and More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), plus “Bamboo Town” and “Who Feelin’ It?” by Tom Tom Club from Close to the Bone (1983) and The Good the Bad and the Funky (2000). We conclude with the title track to Tom Tom Club’s Downtown Rockers (2012). Plus, Tina Weymouth jumps in at one point! For more see tomtomclub.com.

    Watch Talking Heads live in 1980. Here they are performing in 2002 at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. The big Tom Tom Club song was “Genius of Love.” Listen to the “Who Feelin’ It” American Psycho remix. Listen to the full 1977 version of “Psycho Killer.”

    Here’s another recent interview with Chris. Chris and Tina together gave a lecture in 2014. Watch a Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame video about Tina.

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    • 1 hr 1 min
    NEM#131: Ward White Audited

    NEM#131: Ward White Audited

    Ward has issued about ten releases of lyric-driven, stylish pop since 2003. We discuss the title track from Leonard at the Audit (2020), "Titans" from Diminish (2018), and the title track from Pulling Out (2008). Intro: "Sabbath" from Ward White Is the Matador (2014). End: "Bubble and Squeak," also from the new album. For info see wardwhite.net.







    Here's that video we mention with Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh introducing Ward to the Phoenix sisters. Here's Ward live solo. Listen to all of "Sabbath."







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    • 1 hr 2 min
    NEM#130: Mark Farner (ex Grand Funk Railroad) Back from the Dead

    NEM#130: Mark Farner (ex Grand Funk Railroad) Back from the Dead

    Mark led Grand Funk Railroad through 13 hit albums in the 70s and early 80s and has had around eight solo releases. We discuss "Nadean" from For the People (2006), "Not Yet" from Some Kind of Wonderful (1991), and the title track of Born to Die (1976) by Grand Funk Railroad. We then listen to his 2015 single (co-written with Paul Topete) "Take You Out." Intro: "Closer to Home (I'm Your Captain)" from GFR's Closer to Home (1970). For more see markfarner.com.







    Mark has had a single more recently than "Take You Out," 2018's "Can't Stop." Watch a full Mark Farner's American Band show from 2020. Here's another long interview with Mark that you might like.







    Here's all of "Closer to Home (I'm Your Captain)." Drummer Don Brewer has sole writing credit on Grand Funk Railroad's biggest hit, "We're an American Band," but according to this interview, Mark wrote the music including Don's main drum part! If you're unfamiliar with GFR's story, this Behind the Music episode goes through the really interesting milestones. Here's one of their live shows from 1972, as a power trio with nearly every song written by Mark. A GFR reunion is unlikely (Don Brewer is running a current version).







    Consider contributing to Mark Farner's Mid-Michigan Flood Relief.







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    • 58 min
    NEM#129: New People – Matt Ackerman and Mark Lint on Collaboration

    NEM#129: New People – Matt Ackerman and Mark Lint on Collaboration

    A special, more topic-oriented yet more self-indulgent exercise, where your host dissects the collaborative chemistry with guitarist Matt Ackerman as the two front men of the band New People (2006-2013).

    We discuss “Down So Low” from The Easy Thing (2008), “Manager” from Impossible Things (2011), and “Local” from Might Get It Right (2013). End songs: “At the Time” also from that 2013 album and “We Who Have Escaped” (recorded late 2013, released on Mark’s Songs from the Partially Examined Life). Intro: “Love Is the Problem” also from The Easy Thing. For more, see newpeopleband.com and marklint.bandcamp.com.

    Mark made a video for “Love Is the Problem.” Here it is live in 2009 (one of our drummer Julian’s last shows with us). The other studio tune recorded for that album was Matt’s “The Last One,” which the YouTube auto-loader has amusingly depicted as “jazz.” Listen to the original demo of “Manager,” released on Mark’s Black Jelly Beans and Smokes album (1997). The other harsh tune on Impossible Things immediately following “Manager” is Matt’s “Irresistible.” We mention later drummer Nate Pinney as a third songwriting voice: Listen to his New People song “Stalk” also from that second album.

    Matt’s current band is Blue Stone. Watch and listen at facebook.com/bluestonemadison.

    Though I describe my solo stuff as generally less slick sounding, I actually did the whole New People engineering process for my latest, Mark Lint’s Dry Folk (2018): recording mostly at home but mixing with Jake Johnson at Paradyme Studios. Still, you can hear that it sounds nothing like New People without Matt’s guitar layers.

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    • 1 hr 22 min
    NEM#128: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.’s Crazy Fun with Arrangements

    NEM#128: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.’s Crazy Fun with Arrangements

    Roger rose to fame as keyboardist/songwriter for Jellyfish in the early '90s, then formed Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook, TV Eyes, backed Beck, and finally released two albums under his own name starting in 2006. He's recently released a solo EP and one with The Likerish Quartet that reunites him with some other members of Jellyfish.

    We discuss "Lighthouse Spaceship" by The Lickerish Quartet from Threesome, Vol. 1 (2020), "The Turnstile at Heaven’s Gate" from Catnip Dynamite (2008), "Time to Time" by Malibu (a solo techno project) from Robo-Sapiens (2007), and listen to "Operator" from his solo Glamping EP (2018). Intro: "The King is Half-Undressed" by Jellyfish from Bellybutton (1990). For more, see thelickerishquartet.com and rogerarranging.com.

    Roger's interviews to cover his Jellyfish and production work with Produce Like a Pro are here, here, and here. Here's the original video for "The King Is Half-Undressed." Watch Jellyfish live in Germany with the Lickerish Quartet guys. Here's Imperial Drag (Roger with Eric Dover) playing "Man on the Moon," the next song I would have added to this interview had there been time. Here's a video from Roger's first solo album. Watch the lyric video for "Lighthouse Spaceship" and a video made for the opening track of that EP, "Fadoodle." Here's a retro commercial for the EP.

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    • 1 hr 29 min

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